58 churches in 5 days. For what?

20 12 2012

MMCW posterThree years ago I had the pleasure of partnering with a colleague named Dan to create a course called “Ministering in a Multi-Cultural World.” Its purpose is to help followers of Christ see with new eyes the opportunity and obligation to intentionally build relationships with people of different cultures. In each of the ten classes, guest instructors seek to chip away at attitudes which keep us away from others, replacing them with a yearning to show Christ’s love.

Since we are offering the course again in the Spring, our planning team is heavily into the publicity stage. We have brochures and posters drawing attention to this excellent course. So we are hitting the streets, visiting churches. Over the last couple weeks, I took the better part of five days and visited 58 churches. Others on the planning team are doing similarly. Several thoughts have risen in my mind as I have driven these miles.

For one, I’ve wondered if I should be doing this? I seek to be a good steward of my time and energy. As I’ve driven many miles, I sometimes felt that I was not being productive. But in the end, it has been good to get out and see the churches. I’ve met many wary but courteous secretaries as well as a few pastors, and had a chance to pray with four or five of them. They appreciated it, I could tell. To be honest, sometimes I sit at my computer cranking out emails and I have the same question: Should I be doing this? I feel I should be out among the churches, meeting with pastors and community leaders. So that helped me justify the miles and hours on the road in nearby cities.

Secondly, I am reminded that there is a huge variety of churches in our country. Some of them were small and struggling. The doors were locked, grounds unkempt and building needing attention. I would voice a prayer to the Father to bring encouragement to the small congregations that gathered on Sundays, perhaps lacking a full-time pastor. Other churches were huge and thriving. I rejoiced to see many with day care programs and Christian schools operating at full tilt.

Lastly I wondered if our publicity efforts would have much effect. Will pastors stop and consider the importance of loving across cultures? Will believers respond and make time in their schedules to get training that takes them out of their comfort zone? Many people respond to us by saying this is a crucial area to learn about as our society increases in diversity. I’m hopeful that God will move people to take the next step and go through our course. Check it out at www.MMCW.info. And pray for God to glean for Himself some glory from these efforts.


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